Hi dance friends. I’m Margaret Fuhrer, editor and producer of The Dance Edit newsletter and podcast, here with another interview episode for you all.

Our guest this week is Melissa M. Young of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Melissa is a DBDT lifer: She is in her 29th year now at the company, where she was first a dancer, and then over the years a rehearsal director, academy director, associate artistic director, interim artistic director, and now artistic director, a post she’s held since September 2018. She has really invested her entire being in the company’s mission-driven work.

Since Ann Williams founded DBDT back in 1976, the company has celebrated Black history and culture through the lens of dance. Melissa has continued and expanded upon that legacy. And she’s also the type of leader the dance world needs more of, in that she is not an authoritarian but a collaborator. As you’ll hear her say, she wants to lead from the middle rather than the top.

Here she is.


The remainder of this transcript will be available shortly.


Another great big thank-you to Melissa for that lovely conversation, where, I don’t know if you can tell this in the recording, but we both ended up getting a little weepy. As promised, in the show notes, we have all the info about DBDT’s Spring Celebration and about how you can stream that program, in case you can’t make it to the theater. We’ve also linked to the company’s touring schedule, which is very robust. So you should be able to see them either in a theater or on a screen near you sometime soon.

And thanks again to all of you for listening. Keep learning, keep advocating, and keep dancing.